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National workshop on raising EMPACT awareness held in Kosovo*

On the 15th and 16th of March 2023, the project “Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019”, in close cooperation with the Kosovo* Police, organised a national workshop on raising awareness about the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats), held in Pristina, Kosovo*.

This workshop brought together representatives of the Kosovo* Police, including representatives from the Customs, Tax Administration and Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU). Furthermore, representatives of Europol’s EMPACT Support Team, as well as from the Spanish, Austrian, Croatian and Albanian State Police provided a valuable contribution to the workshop by sharing their experiences and expectations.

The main objective of this event was to get the national participants well acquainted with the different stages of EMPACT, as well as its added value and benefits and enhancing participation in EMPACT. To that aim, the audience had the opportunity to exchange and learn about  Kosovo* and EU priorities regarding the fight against serious and organised crime.

The importance of a well-structured and efficient National EMPACT Coordinator Office drew particular attention. Furthermore, the supportive role of the newly appointed country Liaison Officer (LO) at the Europol HQ, in facilitating the exchange of information, was also emphasized. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to share and deliberate on their past involvement in EMPACT activities, reflect on lessons learned, and commit to a more proactive approach in the future.

EMPACT is a security initiative driven by EU Member States to identify, prioritize and address threats posed by organised and serious international crime. The project CSC WB strives to support the proactive participation of relevant Western Balkan institutions in the entire cycle of EMPACT activities – from planning to implementation.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UN Security Council resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.